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City sued over Sharp Park Golf Course project

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Sharp Park Golf Course
  • mike koozmin/2013 S.f. Examiner file photo
  • The Recreation and Park Department added boulders to a levee near Pacifica’s Sharp Park Golf Course, which it oversees. Environmentalists are objecting to future additions at the Sharp Park site.
A group of conservation agencies has filed a suit against The City, claiming that a planned construction project at Sharp Park Golf Course would harm area wetlands and wildlife.

The lawsuit was filed on Earth Day against Mayor Ed Lee and the Recreation and Park Department by the Wild Equity Institute, Sequoia Audubon Society and Save the Frogs. Among the charges is that the project to improve park safety and infrastructure was illegally approved by the Board of Supervisors on March 25 because it “lacked a proper environmental review,” said Brent Plater, executive director of the Wild Equity Institute.

Plater contends that not draining the park’s wetlands in the spring and summer would be a more environmentally friendly and less expensive alternative to The City’s plan, and would also help preserve wildlife at the park, including the protected California red-legged frog and the San Francisco garter snake.

However, Jim Emery, a deputy city attorney, said Tuesday that the project’s approval was “entirely legal” and that the project not only protects but enhances wildlife habitats.

“The project improves the breeding habitat for the frogs,” Emery said, adding that snakes have been thriving there as well. “It also improves the safety for Rec and Park staff.”

Sharp Park is located in Pacifica but managed by the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department.